Review by SuperPhillip
*insert Star Fox 64 quote here*
Fox McCloud and company return to the cockpit in this 1997 classic, Star Fox 64. Set in the universe of the Lylat System, the evil Andross slowly stretches his metaphoric paw across the Lylat, overtaking planets, stars, sectors, and space stations from Cornerian forces. As the call-for-hire A-Team-esque team (Does that make Peppy Hare Mr. T?) of Star Fox, you fly arwings, the landmaster, and bluemarine as you aim to reclaim the Lylat from Andross. Beginning always at the planet Corneria, the path players take to Venom is numerous. By completing certain tasks in levels you can unlock various paths toward your final confrontation with Andross on the toxic planet Venom. There are over fifteen planets and areas in the Lylat system and approximately thirty different paths to take. Each game session will take you across seven of these areas, so multiple playthroughs are obviously a must to get the full experience of the game. By completing the bear bones of tasks, you'll move from Corneria to Meteos to Fortuna to Sector X to Titania to Bolse to Venom. However, to unlock the true ending of the game you'll need to reach Venom via Area 6. Even after doing that you have all the medals to unlock by getting enough points on each planet/area, and multiplayer skirmishes to be had with 1-3 other players.
Gameplay is 75% on rails meaning you are constantly moving on a set track, blasting enemies and bosses. The other 25% of the game is all-range mode which allows you to fly around in a fully 3-D playing field similar to the missions in the more current Star Fox Command for the DS. Missions range from taking out the underside of a looming enemy mothership over planet Katina's home base, to taking out a mad science experiment in Sector X, to plundering the deep and dank depths of planet Aquas in the bluemarine, one of the three vehicles Fox McCloud pilots in the game. Other vehicles include the main arwing, a two winged flyer equipped with single or double lasers, and the landmaster, a ground vehicle armed with a cannon and hover capabilities. There's a lot of tricks for the arwing to pull as well including barrel rolls (as Peppy Hare will advise you to do on Meteos), u-turns, and flips.
Audio-wise the Star Fox series continues to push the limits. The game supports a full voice cast which message board goers and fanboys alike will quote often from. From the bosses that hide behind mechanical monstrosities to the banter of your wingmates, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad, the SF64's sound is quite impressive. The musical score is quite top-notch as well featuring compositions from Koji Kondo and Hajime Wakai.
Now how does this space epic fair from its transition from the Nintendo 64 to the Wii? Mostly, beautifully. The game is much more colorful and vibrant, the sound is perfectly emulated as well as most of the game. My only complaint is something that the N64 version had that yet another N64 Virtual Console game lacks-- rumble. Rumble fully immersed players into the game, and it's something I can't help but feel is missing. I can only hope that Nintendo releases a patch allowing rumble support.
Ultimately, Star Fox 64 on the Wii is a brilliant game, well-worth the 1000 Wii points required. I'm very proud and happy that SF64 is among my armada of Virtual Console titles. If you're new to the series or are a veteran gamer, you'll love this classic and nostalgic game. Hopefully Nintendo brings Star Fox closer to this type of gameplay in their next Wii version of Star Fox (although this reviewer didn't mind Star Fox Assault).
Story: Andross has declared war on the Lylat System! It's up to Star Fox with General Pepper's guidance to save the universe from that monkey's evil grasp!
Graphics: Vibrant on the VC, Star Fox 64 was a technological marvel at its time, and it still looks sharp to this day.
Gameplay: Fantastic flight combat, ground controls, and underwater battles leave this category of the game flawless!
Sound: Impressive voice work and a great score... not much more you can ask for.
Replay Value: Multiple paths, multiple planets, multiple medals to unlock, and multiple multiplayer battles all sum up some great replay value.
Overall: 8/10 - No rumble brought the score down a little for me. Otherwise, Star Fox 64 is king once again.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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